Friday, December 23, 2011

Swamp People of South Louisana

Watched a documentary last night called "Swamp People" - all about the folk who live in the swamplands of South Louisiana, USA and hunt alligators for a living - most alone in little tin boats.

They set rotten chicken baits dangling over the water the day before and come back the next day to see whats on the end of a taut line stretched into the water - usually a live 'Gator which they pull up to the gunnel's of the boat and shoot it in a coin-sized 'sweet spot' at the back of the 'Gators head.

In the video link below (I seem to be having trouble posting a YouTube clip for some reason) you will see 'Gator carcasses being loaded onto a truck. One is a very large one - 12 foot 4 inches, nicknamed 'Godzilla' because it had been raiding baited lines and eating young 'Gators for the past four years. It actually got its head snared in a noose of its own making while fighting with a trapped 'Gator - you can see the line around its "neck" in the footage.

Godzilla's head can be seen in the opening footage as it cruised the swamp waters.

The tall chap in the light coloured T-shirt and the 'Gator-skin baseball cap is Troy, the hunter who caught it.

Enthralling doco - really showed what life in the swamps was like and the dangers these men are exposed to.

btw - their is a "season" for alligator hunting and each licenced hunter (numbers restricted) are issued a 'bag limit' off licence tags that they must attach to every alligator they catch - to not do so and get caught means that they'll lose their hunting franchise, be fined and or fined and gaoled.

Only the males are hunted - the females tend to stay close to their 'egg nest' mounds up on the shore, so the baits are set well away from nest areas to avoid catching females -  and that's a species conservation move that assists in ensuring the future of the 'Gator catching industry.

'Gators are caught primarily for their skins and the hunters are paid by the condition of the skins and the length of the 'Gator, so a chewed up 'Gator is usually worthless but the hunter has to use one of his 'bag limit' tags on even a chewed up specimen.

The documentary showed the wife of one hunter cooking 'Gator meat and they declared it was tasty, nutritious and very healthy (lo-fat, lo-cholesterol content).  Don't know about that but I did see some frozen crocodile meat on sale at the 'Game Meat' butchery at the markets this morning.

1 comment:

Gill - That British Woman said...

did you see the two brothers shooting squirrels for a squirrel stew? Yes down in the Southern States people do eat squirrels..........

Gill in Canada